Bruce: "So you'll be sure to visit."
It's no secret. I like to shop. Every so often I suffer from Target withdrawal and find that I need a fix. On a recent trip to Savannah I was thinking about my writing this Advent devotional on Peace. Upon entering Target I happened to take note of all the items available with peace signs emblazoned on them. Since the 50th anniversary of the anti-nuclear protest symbol in 2008, peace sings are everywhere! There are earrings, shirts, scarves, purses, dishes, sunglasses, notebooks, comforters, clocks, flip-flops, lamps, shower curtains; the list goes on. Peace is so in! Peace can be sequined, painted, embroidered, bedazzled, crocheted, and more. It occurred to me that thousands of peace sign products would not be available for sale if so many people weren't buying them. That got me to thinking about those people.
Now you might wonder if I could really have an epiphany at Target, but I think that's just what happened! I thought, if I wee to poll all the folks in this store today, I'll bet all of them would admit to buying, wearing, promoting or supporting something of peace, but...do they know peace? I also venture to say that if I were to ask my comrades their definition of peace, many would say: the absence of war, the void of conflict, or the state of quiet. What would I have said? Would my first response be a dictionary definition or would I speak of the Giver, Owner, and Prince of Peace? Would I speak of the peace worn on the outside or the peace that resides in my heart? Would I tell of worldly gifts of peace or of the by-products of real peace: guidance, blessing, and strength in a world that always falls short? What would you say?
During this season and beyond, my prayer is for you to accept the gift of peace. Please note: It can't be bought at Target. You won't need to return it or exchange it. You'll never outgrow it, and you can share it.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives." John 14:27a